Are You Ready To Start A Home Based Business?

by WorkFromHome on September 21, 2011

When you think of starting a home business, you may imagine nightmare scenes of hours-long tax preparation, your phone ringing off the hook, and being stuck at your desk all day. In reality, working for yourself from home can be as simple or complex as you make it. There are thousands of people who started their own businesses to dodge the very scenarios you’re trying to avoid. While no one can tell you exactly what business model and hours are best for you, here are five questions your need to ask yourself before you begin.

What will I be selling?

If the idea of packaging and shipping goods from your home give you a headache, why not sell your skills? Thousands of writers, consultants, programmers, and planners work for themselves from home using little more than their computer and their own talents. Still others have launched businesses selling wares on a website and then having the producer ship the goods themselves. If you are comfortable shipping and packaging, will you be making your own items? How quickly can you produce or acquire them? Also, don’t limit yourself to only one activity. If you are equal parts medical transcriptionist and writer, you are not required to have a single-faceted business.

Do I have the experience necessary?

You need to be totally honest with yourself before quitting your job and launching a business. Ideally, you should start your business on a limited scale before giving it all of your time and energy. Why? Because you need to make sure you will have the client base necessary to generate sufficient income. Although running your own business is often a labor of love, it won’t last if you can’t meet your financial obligations.

Will my skills stay in demand?

Whether it’s bean-filled toy animal sales, day trading, or real estate flipping, many work-at-home fads have crashed and burned. You want to make sure your business is modeled to be relevant for years to come. However, some trades lend themselves to branching out. For example, if you want to open a collectibles business, you will need to be aware of the signs that a particular trend is cooling and be able to get out before you are stuck with a backlog of unwanted merchandise. If you’re thinking of contracting with a customer service firm, you need to be able to compete against English speakers in foreign countries willing to work for pennies to your dollar. Be sure that your business is not going to collapse when the market changes.

Are all my eggs in one basket?

While anyone relying on a single source of income is at risk, this is an especially horrible idea for anyone working from home. Websites, suppliers, and companies fold overnight. You can awake one morning, try to log in, and find out that the company you deal with is simply gone. In order to be successful, you should have the opportunity to draw income from a variety of sources. If you sell t-shirts, have more than one supplier. If you are contracting for a text-answering service, you should have access to more than one company. Don’t depend on one source for your income.

Am I ready to work this hard?

The overwhelming majority of people who started their own home based business will tell you that it’s a lot easier than fighting traffic, dealing with office politics, and groveling at the feet of a corporate drone supervisor. However, it didn’t start out that way. Most people, when launching their own business, work incredibly hard to get established. You may have to work every day of the week, for months, before you can find a schedule that allows you a day off and still pays the bills. Consider your obligations to your family, pets, and social life before answering this question.

Starting a home business is no small step. Before you decide to toss the nine-to-five world and launch one, you need to carefully consider these questions and more. Careful planning and realistic expectations are important, and knowing your product and clients is essential. Start slowly and your home based business is sure to be a success!

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